In recent weeks Watershed Victoria and supporters have raised the issue of major financial backing of the desal plant in Wonthaggi by Westpac and the National Australia Bank. Both banks have signed on to the “Equator Principles”, a comprehensive set of responsibility benchmarks to invest only in projects that have no damaging environmental and social consequences. In recent weeks we have leafletted Westpac and NAB branches in Melbourne, with good responses from bank customers.
We are asking for an explanation of the banks’ financial involvement and a comprehensive environmental impact study by the banks BEFORE financially backing the energy guzzling desal plant. They are relying on the State Government’s flawed and narrow environmental assessment, a mistake both in terms of local environmental impact and climate change. The banks have also had assurances from AquaSure, the consortium building the plant, which is hardly impartial, that environmental impacts will be minimised.
The banks promised to meet us to discuss our concerns.
On the bright side, we have had many whale sightings on the coast this winter, including a Southern Right mother and calf last week.
Ring NAB Corporate Responsibility Officer on 03-86342734 or Westpac 132032 and ask for the Corporate Responsibility Officer. More details are available under a new ‘BANKS’ tab on our website, and form letters are under the ‘writing letters’ section. http://www.watershedvictoria.org.au/content/category/letterwriting/
We were to meet at 11am on Thursday 1st October at Flinders St Station for more leafletting of Westpac and NAB branches. Our confidence that the banks would agree to meet and listen to our concerns has paid off. The outcomes from this meeting is posted by click above. More info - Neil 0413 902571.